North America

 
The Ensemble seeks to connect and inform all people who are committed to ensemble music education for youth empowerment and social change.

Celebrating African Diasporic Culture With Castle of our Skins

09-02-2019
The African American poet, activist, and educator Nikki Giovanni begins her “Poem for Nina” with the following lines: we are all imprisoned in the castle of our skins/ and some of us have said so be it/ if i am in jail my castle shall become/ my rendezvous

Boston String Academy Joins Orquestra Geração

09-02-2019

“Visiting Portugal with my BSA orchestra was a trip full of memories that will never stop coming back to me. It’s amazing how, despite the expected language barrier, there were no walls between us, like we didn’t need words to form friendships because the music and the passion connecting us was enough. The music is the center of it all – why we were there, why we knew each other, why we would see each other days after the trip. It’s incredible how when you love something, you don’t want to stop doing it. After spending almost eight hours playing, barely awake by the end of the day, I still wanted to wake up and do it all over again the next day because I enjoy music; I enjoy playing it, the feeling and the togetherness of the orchestra, the people I meet, the places I get to see, the pieces I get to play, the emotion I get to feel, the memories that are present forever like friendly ghosts haunting my mind, traveling wherever I go, bringing it all with me. I may be in Boston, or in L.A., or in Venezuela, or anywhere in the world, but as long as I have music, and all that comes with it, Portugal will never leave me. It changed me far too much for me to forget.”

Community Trust

09-01-2019

Undocumented immigrants share the unique experience of eventually facing the implications of their legal status. For me, that understanding developed in middle school – six years after I crossed the border into the U.S. in 1995, with only shoes, pants, and a sweatshirt.

Principles of Scale for Growing a Sistema System

09-01-2019

In the early days of the U.S. El Sistema movement, Maestro Abreu regularly spoke at national conferences. Often during these events, he would state, “El Sistema is not a system.” Yet we all marvelled at the interconnected structure of neighborhood núcleos, regional seminarios, state youth orchestras, and the multiple levels of youth orchestras based at Caracas’s national conservatory.

The YOLA National Festival and Symposium in Los Angeles

08-02-2019

In July, the Los Angeles Philharmonic sponsored the YOLA National Festival and Symposium, a multi-dimensional gathering for the El Sistema movement in the United States. The Festival was an intensive orchestral training program for students ages 12-18 from across the country; close to 150 young musicians came together for two weeks of immersive rehearsals, sectionals, concerts, and community-building activities. 

An American in Gothenburg

08-01-2019

Often, when we think about the word ‘culture,’ we think about the qualities of a communityits shared music, food, or religion. However, the word is derived from the Latin word ‘colere,’ which means to tend or cultivate; so when we take a more active perspective, we can define culture as ‘the medium for growth.’

FROM THE EDITOR August 2019

08-01-2019

Dr. Bettina Love, the author and cultural philosopher whose riveting keynote speech kicked off last week’s YOLA National Symposium in Los Angeles, teaches her education students at the University of Georgia a course called “Black and Brown Excellence.”

Impressions from the YOLA National Festival

08-01-2019

The U.S. El Sistema movement came together in Los Angeles last week for the YOLA National Festival and Symposium. Two Festival ensembles of students chosen from Sistema programs across the country spent an intense week rehearsing and performing together, while the Symposium brought program leaders and teaching artists together for dialogue.

The Ambassadors’ Exchange, July 2019

07-02-2019

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A Space of Our Own: The Atlanta Music Project’s New Headquarters

07-02-2019

Nine years ago, 19 elementary schoolchildren gathered at the Gilbert House, an old house in southwest Atlanta, to begin their journey towards becoming musical artists. Over the course of the following decade, these children were joined by hundreds of others; together, they all practiced, performed, and evolved into dedicated young artists. Some students played string instruments and wind instruments, while others sang. Across the city of Atlanta, Atlanta Music Project (AMP) students have performed at both small community centers and large venues like the Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

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